Is combined feeding good or bad??

Navneet - posted on 11/13/2010 ( 30 moms have responded )

39

10

1

Hi everyne!
I always wanted to breast feed my baby. but i had to go through an emergncy cesarean and my baby didn't accept breast milk for about a week. even when he accepted it, he only took from one side for atleast a month. it was shocking and surprising as well. so i was advised to continue formula alonwith breast milk (as the health visitors thought he's a big baby). i always suffer from this bad feeling tht i couldn't do what i wanted to do. i couldn't give him the best. but just for reassurance, i want to know if anyone of u is combined feeding as well. secondly i want to come back to exclusive breast feeding again. is there any possibility at all? he's 24 weeks now.

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Brittany - posted on 11/26/2010

2

12

0

Don't feel guilty!! I am a postpartum nurse and make a living helping women breastfeed. Feeding my own was another story. At 7 weeks my supply started to dry up and I was only producing a couple ounces. It is definitely possible to get your supply back, or even boost it, but it isn't a guarantee. I only say that so that if you try and you can't get it back you don't feel worse, ok. I was unable to regain my supply. I boosted it a bit, but never fully regained it. You are not a bad Mother if you supplement, you didn't fail in any way if you supplement. Sometimes, despite your best efforts, you have to supplement. It's not the end of the world. You are giving him breastmilk, and that's what's important. It isn't the amount of milk you are giving him!!! It takes such a small amount to actually provide your baby with antibodies. Breastfeeding has become such a guilt induced way of feeding your child, if it doesn't work out then it doesn't work out. The Mother should never be made to feel guilty or feel like a failure. Good Luck, and I hope for the best. Talk to your OB, there are always medicinal ways to encourage your milk, as well as over the counter herbal supplements.

Kirsten - posted on 11/13/2010

36

30

1

I just had my son (1st child) a little over a week ago via emergency c-section, and I found myself having the same problem with breastfeeding. We were told by the nurses to supplement by feeding him formula with a syringe and having him suck on a pinky finger because he wasn't interested in the bottle either. He really wasn't interested in breastfeeding until the day after we brought him home from the hospital.

We have found out that no matter how much milk my breasts are producing and how long he is nursing for, he ends up not being satisfied, so we break out the formula as a form of backup. I would never get any sleep at all if we didn't do it this way since he eats practically every hour if I exclusively breastfeed. I figure that as long as I am providing breast milk for him, then it is not such a big deal that we use formula too because he is still getting nutritional value from my milk.

Annie - posted on 11/29/2010

114

20

11

A very good friend of mine was combined feeding her son from the word go ~ he was always a hungry baby ~ she managed to up her own milk surply & by 5 months she was exclusively breastfeeding him. I'ts deffinately possible, just keep offering him the breast. Good luck!

Nicole - posted on 11/13/2010

1,117

27

48

Also, I want to give that health visitor an earful for telling you that he is too big to breastfeed exclusively! That is crap! All of my babies practically came out walking they were so big and they breastfed fine! LOL My smallest was 8 lb. 11 oz. and I still had 2 more weeks to my due date! My other 3 were quite larger. :/ Our bodies wouldn't make a large baby and not equip our breasts to feed them. That would have been suicide years ago. Sorry to rant. I am just frustrated that she gave you such bad advice rather than actually helping you breastfeed! She took the easy way out and failed to help you and your baby months ago! Frustrating!

Nicole - posted on 11/13/2010

1,117

27

48

It is possible to go back to exclusive breastfeeding! Get a Supplemental Nursing System/SNS (this is the most inexpensive one I could find:http://www.lullabylane.com/Catalog/Searc...) and only give the supplement through that for a few days.



Also, he is almost 6 months now and you *may* want to introduce other foods soon. Therefore, I would take out the supplement altogether and just let his milk be only your breast milk. If he needs to nurse more often, so be it. Often nursing will only increase your milk supply! It is a beautiful process!



Personally, no matter the age and if there are no underlying medical conditions, and he were my child and I were in your shoes, I would just stop the supplementation and only breastfeed him. If your supply is a bit low, he will need to nurse a little more often for a few days, but your breasts will catch up! Breasts are a supply and demand system - The more you demand from your breasts the more they will produce. ;o)



Good luck and you can do it!



Are you still having issues getting him to latch on the other breast? Let us know.



Don't feel guilty about not exclusively breastfeeding! You have breastfed for 24 weeks even though you had so much interfere with breastfeeding! You should be giving yourself a pat on the back!!! Way to go! You have done so well that I have no doubt that you can go back to exclusive breastfeeding!

30 Comments

View replies by

Elanor - posted on 11/29/2010

161

19

4

That's great that she got her supply up - although this term 'hungry baby' is a myth. No baby is TOO hungry for breastmilk. It's made for the individual. There are always underlying issues when the term is used.

Ania - posted on 11/27/2010

703

25

62

there is always a possibility to come back to full breastfeeding if you are still feeding, you just need to increase your supply, by pumping and your son nursing a lot. I never did the combined feeding, because that would decrease my milk supply - if there is no demamd there is no production. if you want to go back to exclusive breast feeding go to kellymom.com and find lactation consultatnt if something doesnt work. Good luck! Combined feeding is not bad, but it seems like you just want to breastfeed, which is a great choice. Good luck. If you need any support, -emotional email me!

Diane - posted on 11/27/2010

293

0

1

You can always go back to exclusive breastfeeding, my suggestion is to go see a lactation consultant and tell her that you would like advice on how stop supplementing and get back to exclusive breastfeeding and ask her to help you set up a plan. Also if you haven't found them yet, The Leaky B@@b on facebook is a good resource for lots of information from breastfeeding mothers who have overcome tons of obstacles including ones like your own, you can go there and post your questions and you'll get tons of great advice and everyone over there is real helpful and supportive. Good luck!

Elanor - posted on 11/26/2010

161

19

4

YES you can re-establish your milk supply!!!! :D
In tribes, grand mothers often do, if the birth mother has died. So really 24 weeks isn't long.
As for mixed feeding, at least baby is getting some breast milk, that is better than none!
If you want to bring it back, let baby feed as much as he/ she wants to ( you may feel baby's not getting enough, so top up if you really need) However breastfeeding works on a supply and demand, and unless baby is suckling (or breastpump) the milk will not be made. Breastpumping is not as easy as breastfeeding.
You can get supplementation devices, which you wear on your breasts, so baby gets formula but is suckling too!

Sally - posted on 11/26/2010

3

29

0

Hi there
I initially b/f my dd, but at 3wks as the colic kicked in and I was feeling low I tried to express and failed - panicing my MIL intervined (interfeered) and we started mix feeding.... We continued to mix feed for several months - however, from about 6months (as we weaned her) I was able to return to exclusive b/f!
So - take heart it can be done - & don't worry, in a way you could say your little one has had the best of both worlds! We continued to b/f until she was 13months old, when she chose to stop herself!

Tine - posted on 11/24/2010

279

9

2

Yes, you can get back to exclusive breastfeeding! You will need to persevere though, and the more formula he gets the less milk your body makes.
I definately think you should get some expert advice and support on this - the best is the ABA in Australia (google Australian Breastfeeding Association or ring the free helpline 1800 mum 2 mum) or the La Leche League outside of Aust. You might also want to get a lactation consultation to help you out, although pick someone you trust and feel comfortable with!

Shawna - posted on 11/23/2010

9

24

0

There's nothing wrong with combined feeding! I did combined feeding from 3mo-7mo and then I had to go to only formula after that because I had surgery She is 14months and she is absolutely fine. Feel good about the fact that you are giving your baby at least some of your milk even if it's not exclusive! I agree that you're going to soon give him other food besides milk so you may want to keep it the way it is. He won't remember what you gave him to eat, he just knows that he's eating. It's a bigger deal for us moms than the babies. :)

[deleted account]

First I want to say good for you! The fact that he's getting breastmilk despite all the troubles you have gone through means you ARE doing the best for him. You didn't fail, you just had some really bad luck & cruddy circumstances. You are helping him grow healthy and strong, so don't beat yourself up any more!

Lisa - posted on 11/21/2010

225

13

13

i EBF my daughter until she was 8 months old and i went back to work, then my husband fed her formula while i was gone and i nursed her when I got home. it worked, but because I went for so long during the day without nursing it did cause me to dry up faster than I would have. so long as you are nursing on demand and offering formula afterward than you should be able to go back to just breastfeeding. your breasts will pick up the pace, they will let down more often , but make sure you are getting enough to eat and drink to make the milk

Laurie - posted on 11/21/2010

197

7

29

I had to supplement my son and daughter with formula at first as I wasn't producing enough (because it was after a c-section most likely, and they were both fairly large) but within about three months for my son (1st) and six weeks for my daughter (2nd) my production was up enough that it was back to exclusively breastfed. So it certainly can be done. Part of the problem is that while my milk supply was increasing quite rapidly due to frequent feedings, their appetite was increasing only slightly slower so it took awhile to get ahead of them! But I did get there and my son was exclusively breast fed for about two or three months (until he was about 5.5 mths) and at that point his appetite was increasing again more rapidly than I could increase my milk ( he was up to in the range of 40+ oz per day - I had to pump then feed him most of the time due to painful latching although that got better as he got older and his mouth got bigger). By that point he would not drink the formula out of a bottle no matter how we prepared it as I think he didn't like the taste after getting used to sweet breastmilk. So I started him on solids at about 5.5 months. My daughter was a bit smaller and didn't drink quite as much so I didn't run into supply issues with her and started her tasting solid foods but not much more by about 6 or 7 months. She didn't really start to eat much solids until she was closer to ten months or so as the breastmilk was more than enough for her.

Kat - posted on 11/21/2010

45

5

5

Navneet, I read about your little one not wanting to nurse during the daytime and wanted to chime in. When my daughter was born she wouldn't latch on after a brief stay in the NICU where I was unable to breastfeed her. I read everywhere that babies who do not want to latch on will often do so at night before they're confused and tired and let their instincts take over. Their instincts are to want a soft, warm breast and nit a rigid plastic nipple! During the day when they are alert, though, they just want what they are used to and the bottle nipple is easier to get the milk out for them too. It took me seven weeks to get her to latch on reliably every single time, whether it was morning, noon or night, so that I no longer had to carry pumped milk with me everywhere just in case she didn't want to latch on. It was stressful at times, but here is how I did it.
First, turn off the tv and any other distractions in the room where you will be feeding. You need quiet so the baby can focus and you can hear him swallow. At almost every feeding, I would keep a bottle near me but offer the breast first. I got nipple shields and let her suck on my breast through them. It was a bit messy and awkward to use them at first, but you get really good at it after just a few feedings. Look at the clock and have the baby try to latch on this way for at least a minute before giving him the bottle. He may cry and protest, but it's only a minute. Change the nipples on the bottles to a slower flow kind to make it less attractive and more work for him. Once the baby latches on through the shield and has a few good sucks (listen for when you hear that he has started swallowing to let you know that he is extracting milk) you can tug on the shield and pull it out of there. The baby will be too preoccupied with the flowing milk to care that you pulled a fast one over him! Once you get good at this, after maybe a week, start offering the breast without the shield. He may make the transition seamlessly or he may cry like mad until you put the shield back, but keep trying. Look at the clock and try to latch him to your bare breast for a full minute before you give in. All of this takes a bit of time (three weeks for me), is messy (keep lots os burp cloths near), and is frustrating when the baby cries, but hang in there! You can do it. It is the best for you both and you have to get through this little roadblock so you can have a wonderfully bonding time with your son. You can do this!!!

Bridgette - posted on 11/21/2010

23

13

0

It's absolutely possible to go back to exclusive breastfeeding! Breastfeeding works on the supply and demand rule, so what you can do in the meantime is reduce the amount of formula and nurse your baby more often, it is draining but it's so worth it and it will build your supply. Fenugreek tea and oatmeal help too, even what's called lactation cookies! they're delicious and work wonders! it's best to try natural ways to boost your supply first before getting medication. Also have what's called a 'nursing weekend' just spend a few days doing nothing but nursing and it will build your supply, pump in the meantime too. Whatever milk you do pump you can mix with the formula. I had to get my baby back on the breast after emergency surgery when my bub was 4 weeks and managed to continue breastfeeding with no formula (after about 2 weeks because my supply almost disappeared) until she weaned herself at 17 months when I got pregnant. I'm disappointed to hear you were told to continue with the formula in the first place, that was the worst advice you could have been given, they were in no way trained in that are, and to tell you that is wrong, especially since it was your desire to BF. Formula makes breastfeeding (if there aren't supply issues that can't be helped with medication like domperidome or maxalon) very hard and it's highly likely you'll end up having to wean onto formula completely because it reduces your supply, slowly but surely.
I definitely recommend seeing an IBCLC, they are really the best people you can talk to, they didn't train for 5 years to not know their stuff!
I wish you all the best!

Tassy - posted on 11/20/2010

7

5

1

By the way, I combined fed my baby too. I had a breast reduction and was never able to produce enough milk. I loved the nursing and the relationship it built!! Don't be confined by your exoerience just focus on the now and what is possible.

Tassy - posted on 11/20/2010

7

5

1

If you want to go stricktly to breastfeeding go for it!! Just because he is a big baby doesn't mean you can't breastfeed him exclusivley. There are many women who are advised to formula feed but only because their OB doesn't have the knowledge of how healthy breastmilk is for them. If you have the urge to go to stricktly breastmilk than that is your body telling you are ready for it!! Babies will do what is right for them. Trust me mother nature is a smart lady! If he only takes from one side then let him nurse from one side and pump from the other. Freeze the rest of your milk. There are supplements like goats roux and fenugreek. THis will increase your milk supply. Also double pump from the side your baby will not suck from I too had this problem. Pumping and nursing will release the hormone proactin and will help with nursing. Don't be discouraged by your OB. It is totally possible to exclusivley breastfeed your baby.It will take some effort. Do not offer a pacifier, giv your baby the breast instead. The sucking from your baby will increase the milk as well. If this is your goal go see a lactation consultant and they can help you get on track with nursing the way you want!! You can do it!! The baby's sucking reflex is strongest withing 20-30 minutes of being born and if that time is missed then sometimes nursing problems occur. You can still acheive nursing your baby. It just takes a little effort. Good luck!!

Tracy - posted on 11/20/2010

97

18

4

When my daughter was born (5 weeks early), the nurses had her on formula. I pumped and they gave her the breastmilk first then topped her up with formula. Eventually I was pumping enough that she was able to come off the formula. Just keep trying him at the breast first then pump to help keep your milk supply up. Best of luck.

Erynne - posted on 11/20/2010

110

40

14

Formula really is not a good choice for infants. The WHO recommends it FOURTH in their hierarchy of infant feeding.

Most Beneficial Infant Feeding Hierarchy
1. Breastmilk direct from mother's breast
2. Expressed breastmilk from mother
3. Expressed breastmilk from a donor
4. Infant formula

Combined feeding does, indeed, hurt. http://drjaygordon.com/pediatricks/start...

However, it's not a disaster if you've given formula to the baby. You CAN increase your supply and go back to 100% breastmilk. Obviously, start by offering the breast first. When you baby finishes a feed/acts like there's no more milk there, then give infant formula and while the baby is eating that, pump. Pump for at least ten minutes.

Breastmilk works by demand and supply; the more demand there is for it, the higher your supply. So if you pump AFTER the baby nurses, your body thinks the baby needs more milk.

Also, if you use pacifiers to help get your baby to sleep, start using your breast instead. Just like pumping, the suckling of the baby will cue your body to produce more.

You can also use Facebook to find your local Eats on Feets chapter, which helps connect women with extra pumped, frozen breastmilk to women with a need for extra breastmilk. If you're worried about giving donor milk to your baby, you can use flash-heating on your stove to kill any microbes in the milk. Even breastmilk from an ill mommy is better than formula, though. Ever heard of e. sakazakii? It's in most powdered infant formulas.

It's amazing that you're still breastfeeding, despite supplementing. Try switching to supplementing donated breastmilk and start letting the baby nurse rather than giving a pacifier and start pumping every couple of hours for at least 5-10mins. This WILL help your supply go back up!

Good luck, darlin'. You are a devoted mama. ♥

Donna - posted on 11/20/2010

8

45

0

with my first baby I had to combine, because she wasn't gaining weight after two weeks. I was really bummed about it but she did great with that system and is now a happy healthy 2 year old, and my 8 week old is having much better luck breastfeeding even though he gets a breastmilk bottle at daycare and when he is with his nana on sundays! keep up the good work every little bit helps!

Navneet - posted on 11/20/2010

39

10

1

hey Lushchka, i've gone through both the links. i'm gonna try rebirthing definitely coz i think its gonna calm me down a lot! Probably i'll do it on monday when my husband is off frm work. Thanks a lot for this.

thnx Laura & Cat!!

Cat - posted on 11/20/2010

75

19

3

Ideally, full-on breastfeeding is best. The best way to do this, at this stage, would be to just nurse on demand - this will boost your supply (on both sides).
You should also speak with an IBCLC for recommendations with your personal situation - if your baby is only showing interest in one side, there may be a small latch issue or something else that's interfering that an IBCLC would be able to spot and help with :)

Luschka - posted on 11/20/2010

83

29

9

Hi! Yes, there's definitely possbility of going back to exclusive breastfeeding. This might give you at least one idea, especially since you say your hospital stay wasn't a good one: Rebirthing: http://www.diaryofafirstchild.com/2010/1...

Also, it may help you to know how breast milk is made. Remember, it's a supply and demand system, so if you're supplementing with formula, you are telling your body not to make milk at that time. Maybe knowing how milk is made will help you understand the process: http://www.diaryofafirstchild.com/2010/1...

I really hope these help!

Merry - posted on 11/20/2010

9,274

169

263

Navneet, if he fussed after the breast, make sure he has no gas, burp, or diaper needs, maybe he gets bored and would like some play time with you on the floor? He might need something else, not food at all! But if none of that works just put him right back on the breast and let him go as long as he wants. He has natural instincts and his body will tell him what he needs, and instincts don't ever need bottles! His instinct is for your breast and time he is hungry thirsty tired cold scared or overstimulated! It has many uses and sometimes it's one you havent thought of.

Navneet - posted on 11/20/2010

39

10

1

well i always offer him breast feeed first. he takes it throughout night, but he gets very fussy at day time. i dont know what's the reason. thnx evryone anyway. u guys r really helpful. one thing i'm fully sure by now that health visitors or the mid wives r actually of no help whatsoever for breast feeding. they always opt for the easy way out. but i think i should nt moan nw as what has happend has happend. i'm trying my best to give my baby thebest i can. thnx again guys!!

Jayne - posted on 11/20/2010

36

1

2

First of all never listen to a health visitor unless they have breastfeed themselves or are breastfeeding support midwives. Health visitors seem to make it up as they go along. The fact your son didn't take to it at first isn't a problem he wouldn't starve himself, as well with the breastfeeding on one breast, that's okay too as long as he feeds that is all that matters and like I say babies don't strave themselves unless they have a medical problem. I myself completely disapprove of combined feeding, it's entirely up to Moms what they do. Is there a possibility? Well all you have to do is decrease the amount of bottles he has and stick him on a breast the more he sucks, your hormones will react and start producing more milk, maybe not right away but its been known for men to breastfeed and for women who have never had babies to breastfeed. I really wish you the best of success.

Mom of a 8 month old exclusive breastfed son.

Merry - posted on 11/13/2010

9,274

169

263

Most babies have a preferred breast that ends up making more milk so don't worry about that!
How many bottles are you giving him a day? And how much solids?
It's very very possible to eliminate the formula.
Your body will catch up and he will latch better when he isn't going from breast to bottle all the time!
Depending on how many bottles he gets you can slowly cut one out and replies it with breast. Or if it's just two or three bottles you can just stop one day and he will nurse like mad for a day or two but then your body will catch up!
Just let him nurse as often as he wants for as long as he wants and he and your body will get in synch and soon he will only need to eat a normal amount!
I'd say it's not ideal to do both breast and formula, but in your situation you did the very best he could get! And since around one year you should be off bottles anyways it would be nice to be done with them soon so it's just breast. And by the way,you can keep breastfeeding him as long as he wants, recommended two years minimum so you have a nice long time ahead of you to enjoy breastfeeding him. And he will keep getting your immunity as long as he nurses so I think ts definately worth it to cut out the formula now.
So I think you are doing great and the fact you want to cut out the formula is a great decision too!
Best of luck, keep us posted!

Navneet - posted on 11/13/2010

39

10

1

thanx a lot! u've definitely given an amazing advice. i'm definitely gonna give it a go! actually my experince of the hospital stay wasn't a good one. as i said earlier i had thoroughly prepared myself for breastfeeding during my pregnancy. when i came out of the operatin theatre, to the recovery room, my first and foremost concern was that of breast feeding. i asked the nurse when can i start breast feeding? she smiled and said whenever u r ready and another nurse came to put my baby on breast. but as u know they give some amount of feed to the baby in the O.T. only, so may be bacause of that he didn't bother to latch at that time. Then i was sent to the ward, where they gave me some sedatives and kept the baby for whole night with them on the nurse's station, and they kept on feeding him with formula. the very next day i was again eager to breast feed him. But i wasn't given that help which i expected. adding to my frustration, they don't allow any relatiives for night stay. so at the time when i needed support and encouragement i could nt find anybody near to me. so i just wanted to run out as soon as possible! i'm sorry for such big tale, but actually needed to vent out whole of my frustration!
Anyway i've already started weaning my baby when he was 21 weeks. When wakes up at night i only nreasr feed him. but its the day time when he's least interested in breast feed. oh yes he has been taking fm the other side as well but the milk production is very less on that side. he started taking frm the other side when he was around 5 weeks old.
One more thing i was continuosly insisting to breast feed my baby but the midwtves warned me that u'll have to top up him with formula till he doesn't latch properly. may be that was the reason that he started prefering the formula.

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms